Tuesday, 17th July 2012
I took the opportunity to have one final walk around near the hotel, the park and the marina. Come Midday it was time to check out. My flight wasn’t until 4pm so there was no hurry but I was carrying two heavy bags including a lot of Kerryn’s stuff there was no sense staying, and I don’t like taking chances with airports, especially after taking one on the way to Heathrow (which turned out fine), I didn’t want to risk it twice. When I got there the computers were down, which meant a lot of waiting then a very rushed check-in, which in turn meant my planned relaxed lunch became a quickly-scoffed sandwich.
The flight was good, just as good as the one coming in although instead of feeling excited about the week ahead I had that strange mix of melancholy and satisfaction you get from a good holiday. Glad to be rested, happy to have had such a great 5 days, but strange to think I wouldn’t see Kerryn & Dave for 9-10 months, not to mention the thought of having a 3-hour drive home after the flight and then back to work the next day.
A top tip if you’re flying into Heathrow: The approach often brings you in from the East, heading West directly over the city. I make a point of taking a window seat on the right side of the plane, making sure to sit away from the wings, hoping they fly this route so I can watch the city passing 3000 feet below (eventually… after sitting in a holding pattern over Kent for ages), and especially on this journey ten days before the Opening Ceremony I wanted to see the Olympic Stadium in its final preparations. Unfortunately this time there was so much cloud I couldn’t see a thing. Those are the breaks sometimes!
When you get accustomed to a different place, which takes a day or two, landing back in the UK can be a bit jarring. Thankfully the new passport face-recognition booths were flawless and I was through immigration in next to no time. I don’t know what the fuss in the papers is all about. The whole process from landing to reaching my car was faultless for me.
Then as soon as I got into arrivals I saw all the Olympic paraphernalia! There was a Media Zone with cameras for arriving athletes, Olympic direction signage, pink and purple-clad helpers offering assistance, and even a Swedish female pole vaulter complete with a pole in a box. Thoughts immediately turned to the month ahead – exciting!
If you fly to Vigo or anywhere in Spain I highly recommend Vueling, the seats are so comfortable and you get a nice amount of legroom!
If you stay in Vigo I insist you stay at the Hotel Compostela because the people there are so friendly, and they speak English too. The rooms are a good size and the bed is really comfortable. You can sea the ria from the window and you are close to the city centre and the marina with the boat trips (and I mean 5 minutes walk to each). If you find it too loud at night with the street cleaning I’m sure they’d oblige a move to the quieter rooms at the back. I used Booking.com.
The wider area of Galicia is definitely a place you should spend the time to explore – although like a lot of places it only really shines when the sun comes out!
Later in the summer I would go on to visit the Olympics and Paralympics which I will be writing about here soon, do come back for that.
Kerryn and Dave were embarking on a far greater adventure. They were going to spend the next 9 months backpacking around South America! As I write this it is nearing the end of January, they’ve been there since September and plan to stay until June. They have a blog of their own – I encourage you to go back to the start and read through it!